Michael DiRoma, CNE
Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd Brokerage
"There would be no way these people would have gotten a hold of me any other way. They happened to be searching on Google and then found me through AgentLocator… These are leads I would not have gotten had I not been with AgentLocator."
Michael DiRoma has been with Royal LePage Real Estate Services since 2017 and is an award-winning agent. He won the Royal LePage Red Diamond Award (top 2% of Royal LePage REALTORS® for the sales year) in 2019 and the President’s Gold Award (top 6 to 10% in his marketplace) in 2020.
Michael serves Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton and Niagara. He has the CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert) designation and is a member of the Oakville/Milton Real Estate Board, as well as the Toronto Real Estate Board.
"I am an agent that used to do a lot of open houses. I never thought about lead generation until the pandemic hit.
Signed up with AgentLocator in January 2021. To date, I closed 7 deals. I have 5 more clients I am showing properties to that still haven't closed. 1 was a listing (this one listing also may have 3 more), another one is 2 sells and a buy, 2 were buys & sells, one was a first-time homebuyer. There are others that I am also having very good conversations with, but I haven't met with them yet. I can see it happening in the new year.
I am spending $300/mo on Google at the moment. So far, I got 250 leads total.
The main reason I am posting this is because I truly want to help AgentLocator as they have helped me so much. I used to rely on open houses to make a living, and we all know what happened during the pandemic."
Michael DiRoma joined AgentLocator in January of 2021. Michael loved doing open houses and heavily relied on them to drive his sales. They were his main marketing activity.
Unfortunately, when the pandemic hit, Michael was left without his primary source of leads. He knew he quickly had to come up with an alternative. That’s when he turned to AgentLocator for help.
Michael started his AgentLocator journey by purchasing our Lead Generation package. This package includes a branded website, a lead generation website (used as a landing page for ads), and Google PPC managed ads.
He is running ad campaigns to generate buyer and seller leads. From January to November 2021, he generated more than 250 leads. He has closed seven deals with AgentLocator leads so far. He completed his first deal only three weeks after the lead registered on his website.
"Don't look at the initial cost factor, what the startup cost is. Because all it takes is one lead for the year, and it pays off itself."
When he started, Michael was completely new to online lead generation. But he knew he had to make it work with the situation he was currently in.
One of the most important parts of his success was that he heavily leveraged AgentLocator’s training team. Each AgentLocator client is assigned a personal trainer, whom the agent can talk to at any time to get tips on how to increase their conversion rates.
Each agent goes through two initial training sessions that help them understand the best practices of working with the AgentLocator system. But the support continues whenever an agent is stuck or needs more help.
Michael used his personal trainer to learn how to optimize the AgentLocator system for his goals and find new ways to engage with leads.
"Every so often, I would send an email and request just an update to get a little bit more familiarized on how I can actually fine-tune the system a little bit better to meet my needs a little bit more."
Leveraging the knowledge he got from his training sessions brought him success even with leads that left a fake phone number. For Michael, such leads didn’t come as a surprise as he had plenty of those after his open house events. However, with AgentLocator, Michael finally had a way to get more out of those leads.
"I had a fake number lead. My trainer sent me a scripted email campaign. I set it up in the CRM, and that one fake number corrected his number and talked to me about four times. And he said he'll contact me regarding a property he was interested in."
Initially, Michael started with a campaign for rental leads, in addition to his buyer and seller leads campaigns.
If you are new to real estate and online lead generation, our Training Team recommends starting with rental leads because they convert faster and give you a faster return on investment. And although he moved on quickly from rental leads, Michael is still reaping the benefits of that campaign.
"And my rental lead turned into a buyer as well. He was just renting. He recently called me, said he's going to be buying in the Fall. But he also wants me to help his daughter, who’s also looking at buying."
After almost a year, Michael is truly an example of how the AgentLocator system can help agents build their sales pipeline and secure future business. He currently has five more leads in his pipeline, which he hopes to close next year.
If there is one thing he would like to say to agents who are considering online lead generation to grow their business, it’s this:
"Don't be scared. Just give it a shot. It does pay off. It does pay off, but you have to be dedicated to it."
Ado Topuz: First off, thanks so much for joining. This is Michael Di Roma. Did I pronounce your name okay?
Michael Di Roma: Yup.
Ado Topuz: Yup. Amazing. Michael, which brokerage are you with?
Michael Di Roma: Royal LePage Real Estate Services
Ado Topuz: Awesome. And which location are you in?
Michael Di Roma: We're in Oak Park, so we're in Oakville.
Ado Topuz: Oh, amazing. Okay. You're at Oak Park. Actually, I live in Glen Abbey, you're very close to me.
Michael Di Roma: Yeah.
Ado Topuz: Amazing. And when did you start? The leads you're generating currently, are they in the Oakville, Burlington area? Is it Oakville specifically?
Michael Di Roma: No, I started doing Hamilton St Catherine's, because I recently moved out to Grimsby. But I like the brokerage I'm at. And nowadays you don't really have to, like with a lot of online brokerages, you really don't have to be in one certain area.
Ado Topuz: Absolutely. Yeah. It makes a lot of sense. So your current area is Hamilton St. Catherine's.
Michael Di Roma: Yes. I actually do a lot of Burlington, as well. From time to
Ado Topuz: Beautiful. And when did you sign up for our service? Based on from what I see-
Michael Di Roma: January.
Ado Topuz: January of 2021. So just recently. Okay.
Michael Di Roma: Recently, yes.
Ado Topuz: Amazing. This is the first I'm actually seeing this, they gave me the wrong Michael. I pulled up the Michael and I looked at everything and the girl actually messaged me. She's like, "Just want to let you know, you've got the wrong Michael on your profile." I just actually got a chance to pull up your profile. So, that's amazing. And the other question is when did you have your first training? From the process, you started in January, you probably had your first training in January, as well.
Michael Di Roma: Yup. Had my first training in January. Did another training about a week after that. Every so often I send in an email and request just an update to get a little bit more familiarized on how I can actually fine tune the system a little bit better to meet my needs a little bit more.
Ado Topuz: Amazing.
Michael Di Roma: Recently what I've done now, is I've started doing campaign ads. Because sometimes we get numbers that are incorrect. So I don't have to sit there and send out emails all the time. The system does it automatically for me.
Ado Topuz: Yeah. And that's beautiful. Help me understand our process a little bit. How do you like our process? The way that we onboarded you, with the trainer and everything else. Did you find that helpful? Did you find that we were able to answer your questions?
Michael Di Roma: Yup. I find it very helpful. There are a little bit bumps in the road as we went along, but there are bumps with everything you do. But I find it's actually progressing very well. So far I've closed two deals. One was a rental and I just closed one on the weekend. And it was actually funny because a person was from Colleywood.
There would be no way they would actually get a hold of me anywhere else. Other than they happened to be doing a Google search, they got to me through AgentLocator. I'm actually working with another person currently from Toronto who's looking in Hamilton, but I'm getting leads from people who are relocating from Winnipeg, from British Columbia, Windsor. And these are leads I would not have gotten, had I not been with AgentLocator.
Ado Topuz: And that's truly amazing. Is it mostly rental leads? Are you a rental campaign or are you in a buyer campaign mix?
Michael Di Roma: I was in a rental and then I just found out it was just, you were getting a lot of stuff that I was just chasing smoke, really.
Ado Topuz: Right, yeah.
Michael Di Roma: So what I did is I just changed the campaign a little bit. I had it up to about $50.000 and then I was getting people that could only afford a maximum of $500.000. So I was getting a lot of first time home buyers.
Ado Topuz: Right.
Michael Di Roma: And I found a lot of them just weren't working out because their max budget is $500.000 and it's hard right now to find something for that price in these areas. So I changed the lead to about 750 and then I started picking up people from all over.
Ado Topuz: Amazing.
Michael Di Roma: I have a buyer and seller campaign going.
Ado Topuz: Okay. So two campaigns. And the actual point from when you got the lead, to when you closed the deal, how many months was that? It wouldn't have been a lot. It would've been maybe a couple months. How many months passed from the point of when you got the lead, to the point of closing it?
Michael Di Roma: Three weeks.
Ado Topuz: Three weeks. Amazing.
Michael Di Roma: It was about three weeks. The lead came in. She actually thought I was from Oakville. And then I told her, "No. I live in that area. So I service the area." Met her, took her to about five, six properties and we ended up closing a deal on one that she really liked.
Ado Topuz: Amazing.
Michael Di Roma: And my rental lead turned into, he was just renting. He recently called me, said he's going to be buying in the fall. But he also wants me to help his daughter, who is also looking at buying.
Ado Topuz: So a direct referral out of the... Yeah. Out of the fact that you're doing a great job with the individual and helping him, it stems into referrals. Yeah. That's amazing. On average, how many leads would you say you get per month currently?
Michael Di Roma: It's hard to say. To date, I've had about 110 leads. 110.
Ado Topuz: Let's say roughly 30 leads a month on average.
Michael Di Roma: 20, 30. Yeah.
Ado Topuz: 20, 30 leads a month. Yeah. Awesome. Well, that is beautiful. And one of the last questions that I actually, and I typically ask this for everybody, to help other agents. And that is, if you had one thing to tell other agents to help them succeed with online leads, what would it be?
Michael Di Roma: I would say don't look at the initial cost factor, what the startup is. Because all it takes is one lead for the year and it pays off itself.
Ado Topuz: Yeah.
Michael Di Roma: And basically the one deal I've done, the one sale I've done, not on rentals, paid off AgentLocator for three years. So if you take into account the whole cost factor, it's very minimal.
Ado Topuz: Yeah. It's truly a numbers game. The most discouragement that comes in from online lead generation is that there's a lot of fake leads. And that's just part of the game. That's part of the game, unfortunately. And you have to get over the mindset of concentrating on the bad ones, just to concentrate on good ones. Because there's very little we can do with people that are making sure they put a fake number in. And no matter how much we force them to put a good number in, they're going to put a fake number in, those that intend to put a fake number in.
Michael Di Roma: I had one that did a fake number. And I did a campaign where it sends out... I was training yesterday and Brawna sent me a script. I set it up yesterday and that one fake number, corrected his number and talked to me about four times. And he said, he'll contact me regarding a property he was interested in.
Ado Topuz: And that's the other amazing aspect of it. The fact that we have their good email, that we can communicate with them. And as long as you provide some value and maybe some context in how you respond, what was that mail like? What did the actual message say?
Michael Di Roma: It sent him an email that said, "Oops. I think we got your number incorrect. In order for us to send you a proper listings and meet your needs, please provide us-
Ado Topuz: Good number.
Michael Di Roma: And they did. And they verified. And then they sent me a couple text messages today, regarding a property and asked me some questions about it and said he would reach out to me later on today.
Ado Topuz: Beautiful. That is truly amazing. And it shows how we can convert those bad leads into good leads, as well. That is wonderful, Michael. Honestly I really appreciate you coming on. These are all the questions that I generally ask. These are the typical questions that agents usually have as well. I really appreciate it. If there's anything else that you want to add on before I stop the recording to anybody who wants to start with internet leads. Or want to try to get into any advice that you can give them, outside of what we've talked about.
Michael Di Roma: I would say don't be scared. Just give it a shot. It does pay off. It does pay off, but you have to be dedicated to it. You have to put the time into it and it will pay off. And the number of fake leads that you may get, when you're doing an open house, you get fake leads at an open house anyways. People write down the wrong number on the paper when they sign in. You're still going through that, no matter what you do.
Ado Topuz: I'm so glad you mentioned that because one of the key factors also is, on the website we do force registration. Meaning we force them to register, try to get their information. And many agents have come to us and said, "Listen. Just take off forced registration. I don't care. I don't want to force people to register, let them contact me." And my response to them is, "How many people that walk through your open house, if they're not forced to leave their information, how many would actually leave the information?"
Michael Di Roma: They won't.
Ado Topuz: Nobody would. Same thing here. Nobody leaves information. So, it is pointless to not force them to register because it's better off just to have them go somewhere else anyway, because we're not going to get their info.
Michael Di Roma: Well, the chances are, you're getting the correct info when they're doing forced registration with AgentLocator, than you do at an open house, when we were doing open houses, because it's not as if somebody could actually... You're not asking people for ID, for every person that walks in and verifies all their email and phone number. You don't verify anything.
Ado Topuz: Exactly. And we get a chance to get the validation as well later on, because we can check that invalid number. And when they come back to the website, they're being forced to validate.
Michael Di Roma: Yup.
Ado Topuz: And what I like about that method is we get them used to the website. We get them used to sending listings, they're looking at them and they actually like it and then we're taking it away from them. The psychological aspect of that really helps us from that perspective, as well. That is amazing. Michael.